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Russia announces ceasefire in northern Syria

August 31, 2019 at 11:24 am

Smoke rises after Assad Regime warplanes carried out airstrikes on the town of Arihah in Idlib province, Syria on July 28, 2019 [Muhammed Said / Anadolu Agency]

The Russian Defence Ministry yesterday announced a ceasefire in northwest Syria, which will come into effect today.

The Russian news agency Sputnik quoted the Russian Reconciliation Centre as saying that “the ceasefire in Idlib, Syria will start on 31 August”.

Yesterday morning, Syrian opposition forces repelled forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad as they attempted to make progress near Qasabiyeh, in the northern countryside of Hama. The opposition also targeted regime forces in the Elkrkat area, also near Hama.

Meanwhile, regime forces took control of the town of Al-Tamanah, in the south-eastern countryside of Idlib, on Thursday night.

Field sources confirmed to Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed that Syrian regime forces have taken full control of Al-Tamanah, after several hit-and-run battles which lasted for nearly three days.

Read: Syrian army makes new gains as Russia brings reinforcements

Meanwhile, yesterday hundreds of Syrian protesters stormed the Bab Al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey, located near Idlib. Sources told Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed that hundreds of demonstrators gathered at the crossing, calling on Turkey to stop the Assad regime and Russia’s campaign on Idlib and Hama.

They also explained that demonstrators managed to storm the gate of the crossing from the Syrian side, prompting police on the Turkish side to fire in the air to warn demonstrators against further efforts to breach the gate.

According to local sources, the gate that was stormed leads to a free market area managed by the Syrian Salvation Government affiliated to Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham, which at present effectively controls Idlib.

Since the end of April, both Idlib and Hama have been targeted by an Assad regime military campaign, backed by Russia, which has resulted in the displacement of thousands of civilians, many of whom have fled towards the Syrian-Turkish border.

Read: France delegation visits Syria’s Assad, defying EU sanctions